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Planning Green Events
Planning Timeline & Stakeholder Involvement
There is a common misconception that event greening only happens at the actual event, when recyclables and/or compostable materials are collected. However, to have the greatest impact (or rather, the least impact on the environment), it is necessary to start planning well in advance.

The timeline of event production and greening an event are linked. Information about sustainability program goals and expectations need to be communicated to stakeholders, including event vendors, every step of the way to ensure success.

The document below includes an overview of an event timeline and the activities that typically happen during the first six months of planning an event. It also provides tips for communicating program information to event stakeholders, including producers, sponsors, exhibitors, food vendors, performers, attendees, event staff, and volunteers. View the Timeline & Stakeholder Involvement for Greening Events guide.

Contract Language 
Contracts provide the structural framework for events and establish not only who will provide certain services but also how the services will be provided. Therefore, it is important to make sure items like compost and recycling collection services are included in venue contracts and the use of compostable products or a ban of non-recyclable products is included in vendor contracts.

Some examples of contract language for both vendors and venues are included below for reference. The language below may or may not be legally binding in certain situations, so it is important to consult legal counsel when entering into contractual agreements.

Contract language for Food & Beverage Providers

Example Venue Language

  • Venue will allow “event” to set up temporary eco-stations to collect separate materials for recycling, composting, and trash.
  • Venue will provide space for “event” to place separate debris bin(s) (dumpsters) for storage of compostable materials collected in conjunction with event. Event is responsible for related service cost for placement and removal of debris bin.
  • Venue will allow volunteers to move bags of compostable and recyclable materials collected at attendee eco-stations for placement in debris bins.
  • Venue will provide space for sorters hired by “event” to work in dock area and accepts that sorters will go through event materials to recover organics and recycling.

Links to sources for additional example contract language are included here for reference. However, because not all events or venues are alike, our Zero Waste Event Team can provide assistance in developing contract language specific to your event and needs.